Ambush

Posted: April 22, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
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Matt hurried after the two men sent into the woods. After a five minute sprint through the dark, he heard them. Slowly, he advanced. He saw their silhouettes against the fading night sky. They carried rifles held to their shoulders, fanning the barrel back and forth as if monsters would jump from every shadow. They drew close to a massive stand of mesquite.

Matt grinned. HE was the monster, they were expecting. He slipped deeper into the gloom of the mesquite bushes and picked up a rock. He glanced at the pair then tossed the stone to the opposite side of the pair. Both men stopped, frozen in place.

After a brief whispering conference, one of the men headed toward the sound where the rock had landed. The second man stood still waiting for his companion to check out the noise. His hands trembled holding the rifle as he moved his weapon covering his cohort.

Matt stepped back into the shadows. It took several seconds to circle to the back of the cluster of mesquite. He stood so close to the man’s side he could hear the man’s raspy breathing. Matt side-stepped behind him, pulled his head up, and drove the blade up into the flesh under the man’s chin. He pulled the inch blade free.

Without a sound, the man relaxed against Matt’s chest. Matt grabbed the rifle strap before the weapon could fall from his fingers. He pulled the body back into the brush and slowly eased it down into the dirt. He placed his foot on the dead man’s back and rolled him under the brush.

Footsteps in the dark alerted Matt of the second man’s approach. Matt stepped behind a forked cedar as he listened to the man draw closer.

An aggravated whisper called out. “Asshole, where the fuck are you?  Get over here!”

Matt whispered. “Help me.”

“Where are you?” The man stopped and whispered back.

“Here.” Matt whispered.

The man took a tentative step forward, then another and another. Suddenly Matt slammed the butt of the confiscated rifle in the man’s head. The man went down without a sound out cold. Matt took less than a minute to string the man up under a massive oak limb with a length of cord. The man’s feet dangled inches from the ground when Matt was done.

After taking a few seconds to search the man’s pockets, Matt fished out a used handkerchief. He shoved it in the man’s mouth, pulled a second from his own pocket and forced it into the man’s open mouth and tied it behind his head. He gave the man a shove and walked away. He picked up both rifles and handguns. He slid them under the brush where he’d left the other man’s body.

Matt glanced toward the road and realized he was less than a quarter mile from the shack. The moon was up full and bright. He sprinted after the two men sent to circle around the front of the shed.

Tate lay out on the hay bale nearly forty feet from the corner of the shed. She could see the hint of light from the lantern inside through the weathered boards. She had a clear view from the roadway to the pasture behind the shed. She kept her eyes moving, examining every shadow, looking for movement from the road to the woods.

Suddenly she noticed half a dozen dark shapes appear from the woods to lumber across the pasture toward the shed. Tate watched the four legged, short-horned, thick bodies plod toward a water tank. She heard a nearby snort and realized another dozen animals rounded the hay bales heading off to meet the rest of the herd.

She studied the shapes and decided they were buffalo, not cattle. She knew of a couple ranches in the Hill Country supplied buffalo meat to specialty restaurants in Houston and Austin. This could be one of them. Getting back to the truck might be interesting with a herd of buffalo to avoid. They were unpredictable and would kill if they felt threatened.

Tate saw a sudden glint of light from the road. She squinted and made out two bent shadows rushing across the blacktop.

Tate followed the moving silhouettes with the rifle scope as they sprinted toward the shed. The men made it across the open road and squatted at the corner of the fence pointing rifles toward the shed. After a full minute, one of the men rose, rushed to the corner and disappeared into the shadows.

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